If the president’s rhetoric was sweeping, it was also pragmatic. “Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life,” he said. “It does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time — but it does require us to act in our time.”
Brian Williams of NBC News was a trip in the lead-up to the president making his appearance for the crowds at the National Mall. He quipped that Joe Biden's Bible had the dimensions of a pull-out couch. And that the president's escorts had the somber countenance of somebody walking towards an execution.
That's Fred Willard color commentary if you ask me. Too funny.
As far as the president's "sweeping" remarks, I think they work for effect on such a grand stage. And if anything they keep the dialogue on subjects such as immigration reform, and gay rights at the forefront, but drastic changes are anything but assured. Promoting action on climate change is admirable but I don't expect to see solar panels be the wave of the future any time soon. This passage I liked:
"The commitments we make to each other—through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security—these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us," he said in his address on Monday. "They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great."
The president's speech did highlight what democrats are supposed to stand for, and we shouldn't shy away from those values. But I, as well as opponents, should realize that an agenda has only so much potential. In the real world, gay marriage can only go so far. Gun control can only go so far.
It'll be interesting to see how the next four years play out. Surely there are a lot of hot button issues to tackle, but there's always the Middle East, the mid-term elections, and plain ol' opposition party tactics. We must make plans but also be realistic about their fruition. They're only viable until the next shoe drops.